Federal MP for North Sydney Trent Zimmerman visited Royal North Shore Hospital on January 24, meeting dialysis patients and staff on the Big Red Kidney Bus.

The bus will be at North Shore Hospital until February 2 before travelling to other parts of the state. The mobile service enables patients to undergo dialysis away from home, giving many the chance to travel and have a holiday.


‚ÄčCammeray resident Joanne McKay has taken advantage of the mobile service at Ballina and Coffs Harbour and says it has had a wonderful impact on her life.

"It has meant I've been able to have a break from my routine, and spend time with family and friends on the North Coast. It has meant I could have a holiday, something I wouldn't normally be able to do".

The bus embarked from RNSH on it's holiday hot spot tour last year and is making a short visit before travelling to other parts of the state. 

 Kidney Health Australia (KHA) owns and operates the bus and with expert renal nurses and dialysis technicians provided by Royal North Shore Hospital to treat the patients.

RNSH Head of Renal Medicine Dr Bruce Cooper said as many as 1.7 million Australians live with signs of chronic kidney disease but only 10 per cent realise it.

"People at risk of kidney disease should have a kidney health check every two years. That's as simple as seeing your GP and having a blood test, urine test and a blood pressure check," Dr Cooper said.

"With more than 10,000 Australians living on haemodialysis, the Big Red Kidney Bus is a fantastic service for those travelling in NSW."

KHA Acting CEO, Lisa Murphy, said she is thrilled the bus program is now entering its second year in NSW after originally starting in Victoria in 2014.

"Dialysis is a debilitating and restrictive regime and it can be extremely difficult for those with end-stage kidney disease to take a holiday," she said.

"On average, dialysis patients need to have treatment for up to five hours at a time, three days a week, and holiday dialysis chair availability is very limited around Australia."

Dr Murphy said dialysis on the kidney bus is also available for Sydney residents who might want to try out the service in Sydney with a view to including it in their own future travel plans.

KHA urges people and families living with kidney disease to book dialysis, a familiarisation visit or request more information on the bus as soon as possible. Phone 1800 454 363 or email bigredkidneybus@kidney.org.au